Berkeley Castle might just be my new favourite wedding venue, it’s atmospheric, packed with history and the grounds are stunning. All fantastic ingredients for some lovely wedding photos 🙂
I arrived early to shoot the preparations, Kirstin plus bridesmaids and family were all getting ready in Brook House just opposite Berkeley Castle with a view of the church. It’s a lovely house with plenty of large rooms to get ready in spread over 3 floors.
After saying hello and introducing myself to several people I found Kirstin upstairs and asked if I could take her dress off for a couple of photos. Kirstin was more than happy for me to do so and asked me if I had much experience removing wedding dresses from their covers.
Obviously, I have done this loads of times so I was more than happy to help. It was quite the dress, Kirstin had had it custom made by wedding dress designer Caroline Castigliano and it really was stunning!
I pottered about shooting details and the general hubbub of everyone getting ready until it was time for Kirstin to get into the dress. I did my usual thing of waiting outside while Kirstin got herself covered up and waited to be called in before the back was done up.
I always love shooting this bit of the day, the excitement and anticipation in the room makes for a brilliant atmosphere and some lovely photos. As Kirstin was getting into her dress her Bridesmaids came in. I particularly like the photo I got of her little sisters reaction the first time she saw her.
Alongside all the natural shots I do of the prep, I like to include a few bridal portraits once you have the dress is on. I think it’s nice to have a record of what you looked like on your wedding day before the fun of the day takes its toll on your hair and makeup!
Once we were done with those photos, Kirstin’s dad came in for his first look. It was a beautiful moment, he walked in, took one look and had to walk away as the emotion took over! They are obviously a close family and it was a real honour for me to be present. When he came back in there was plenty of hugs and a few more tears.
I had to run over to the church after that to get some photos a Dan before the ceremony and shoot a few of the guests while they waited. Kirstin and Dan met through the Sealed Knot, an English civil war re-enactment group and they incorporated this throughout their wedding. Including a few of their friends forming a tunnel of pikes for their entrance and exit.
After the beautiful ceremony, everyone headed across to the castle and down to the Lily pond for some drink and canapes. The Sealed Knot lot put on a bit of a show and fired their muskets in a marriage salute. Obviously Dan had to get involved and shoot one too.
While the guests were taken off for a guided tour of Berkeley Castle, I took Kirstin and Dan off for a few photos around the grounds before nipping inside to grab a few shots of the very impressive grand hall before dinner. It’s an epic room full of old paintings and tapestries, very castle-y!
After everyone had eaten it was time for the speeches. These are usually a pretty entertaining part of the day and today was no exception. Lots of touching moments with both Dan’s best men delivering plenty of laughs. The speeches are a great opportunity to grab a few natural shots of people’s reactions. I love this kind of photo as I think they tell the most genuine story of your day.
During dinner I had been planning out a few more photos to do with Kirstin and Dan. One photo in particular I was keen to do was a shot I thought of with Kirstin giving her dress a swish. I’m quite pleased with how this one came out.
It was turning into a gorgeous evening with lovely golden light, so we went for a brief walk around the grounds again to get a few golden hour photos.
Once the cake was cut (with a massive sword!) it was time for the first dance and for the evening party to get into full swing. After I got some shots of everyone rocking it on the dance floor it was a sensible time to finish up.
It was a brilliant day, I’m really grateful to Kirstin and Dan for involving me in their wedding day and I can’t wait to return to Berkeley Castle and do it again!